Pick up your 2021 Sunflower Competition seeds at the Trading Shed

Following last year’s very competitive sunflower competition, BHAS is again offering its members free sunflower seeds at the trading shed for spring planting. Pick up a pack of seeds (one pack per BHAS plotholder) at the trading shed and start to prepare your garden for some bee-friendly competition!

The variety available this year is Giant Sunflower Titan.

The seeds will be at the trading shed starting Saturday, 20 March while supplies last.

How to enter

Sunflowers will form two new categories in the Annual Show in September and your sunflower can be entered into the show along with the other categories; if the show is not able to go forward, we will arrange an online entry form like we did last year – so the sunflower competition will go forward!

Pick up a packet of seeds or use your own; plant them when you’re ready.

Growing instructions

Giant Sunflower Titan.

One of the tallest-growing and easily the biggest-headed and seeded variety available to gardeners.   Perfect for impressing your neighbors and winning competitions.  The plants will need support reaching up to 12ft with large yellow flower heads plants can reaching 18-24″ across! The seeds are large and ideal for consumption or leaving for over-winter birds.  Annual.

Cultiviation Advice Giant Sunflower Titan

  • Days To Germination:  14-21 days Optimum Soil Temp. for Germination: 68F-86F Planting Depth: 1/4  inch  Spacing, Seed: 4-6 inch  Spacing, Plant: 24-36 inches Plant Height: 10-14 ft inches Light:  Full Sun
  • Seeds can be started indoors 3 to 4 weeks before last spring frost. Or direct-sow seeds outside after all danger of frost has passed to a depth of 1/4 inch. Can be sown as late as 100 days before last frost.
  • When seedlings are 2 to 3 inches high, thin to individual pots. Replant thinned plants.
  • Steadily harden off before planting out after all danger of frost has passed.
  • These will require staking / support in all but the most sheltered locations.

Source: Premier Seeds Direct

Competition rules

Categories & guidance on how to measure

1. Biggest sunflower head

Measure the diameter of the seed head. The flower petals should not be included. Heads should be cut from the stock (unless also entering the same plant into the tallest sunflower category).

2. Tallest sunflower plant

Measured from the base of the stem (not including the roots) to the top of the head. The head can be extended to measure the full height of the plant. We ask that gardeners cut off the roots to make it easier to measure the stem. Please also remove leaves from the stalk.

Photos of your sunflower journey

Please do send us any photos you have of your sunflowers (from seed to competition-winning size!) as we would like to share the journey on social media or on the website. Photos can be sent to bhas.social.news@gmail.com.

Thank you and good luck!

October Allotment Rent Invoices

We have today received the following notice from Richmond Council regarding the invoice you have been sent for your allotment rent. 

“Due to the implementation of a new process for generating annual invoices, a technical error resulted in the rents charged to concessionary plot holders and standard plot holders being reversed. To resolve, credit notes will be raised to cancel all invoices issued on 1st October 2020 and revised invoices with the correct charges will be issued during the w/c 12th October. Plot holders who are ‘Out of Borough’ are not affected.”

2020 Sunflower Competition Winners 🌻

The results are in!

Throughout the summer months, the sunflower population on BHAS plots has been impressive with some absolutely stunning displays. It’s the perfect time, given this week’s wet weather, to revisit some of the impressive yellow giants seen on the East Sheen allotments.

Amazing displays

First Competition

The 2020 Sunflower Competition was originally intended to be a new addition to the BHAS Annual Show traditionally held in September, adding two categories for height and biggest seed head; to mark the new categories, in March, Mongolian Giant sunflower seeds were donated to the Trading Shed by Dino Franz from Hertford 26 and offered for free until they were all claimed.

Members of BHAS could pick up a packet of donated seeds from the Trading Shed.

Due to COVID-19, the Annual Show in September did not go forward, but a virtual growing competition was organised for a bit of lockdown fun.

Entries were submitted through an online form from mid-August through the end of September. Without any further ado, the results are below.

The 2020 Sunflower Competition winners

Tallest Sunflower Plant

Measured from the base of the stem (not including the roots) to the top of the head. The head can be extended to measure the full height of the plant. 

🌻 Winner: Susan Borrett, Triangle 8A – 3960mm tall

🥈Runner up: John Padgett, Hertford 41a – 3720mm tall

Biggest Sunflower Head

Measure the diameter of the seed head. The flower petals should not be included.  

🌻 Winner: Juan Ramlill, Pavillion 6b – 400mm in diameter

🥈Runner up: John Padgett, Hertford 41a – 370mm in diameter

Thanks to everyone for the beautiful display of sunflowers on our plots and your entries; congratulations to the winners. I think we can agree it was a close competition and fun distraction during lockdown and attracted countless beneficial pollinators and bugs to our plots.

The BHAS Committee looks forward to seeing next years’ sunflowers!

-Sarah W, Hertford 26

Richmond Council compost giveaway – 14 April

The Richmond Council released their newsletter this week and announced that, on Sunday 14 April, they will be hosting a compost giveaway at Holly Road car park in Twickenham. The giveaway runs from 11:00 to 15:00 or until compost is gone.

Each household can take two bags of compost home for free and small electrical items no longer needed can also be recycled.

For more information, visit the council’s website.

Richmond Council decides to ban allotment bonfires from 30 April 2019

At the cabinet meeting on Thursday, 14 February 2019, Richmond Council decided that all bonfires on allotments will be banned from 30 April 2019.  The Borough of Richmond Allotments Group (BRAG) will be making a submission through official channels to have this decision reviewed and BHAS Allotments has representation in BRAG.

An allotment bonfire ban will impact plotholders who would find it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to remove non-compostable material from the allotments, including those who are elderly, do not own cars or live in flats.  We would like to ask our East Sheen Allotment plotholders to contact their councillors if they do not agree with this decision.  Councillors for each area can be found by going to the Council website.

There is also a petition set up by a plotholder on the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames (LBRuT) website enabling individuals to register their support for overturning the ban.  The more who sign up to this, the stronger the case will be to review the decision.  Follow this link to access the petition.

Save the date for 2019 Open Day – 12 May

Save the date

Mark your calendars for the 2019 BHAS Open Day for 12 May from 2-5pm.  Our Open Day is confirmed and we’ve love for you to join us for the afternoon.  Information about the day can be found on the Events page – so stay tuned as plans develop.

What is Open Day?

Open Day is a way for our community to wander around the allotments and get inspiration for your own plot or garden as well as socialise with our allotment community.  Activities for kids are in the works, so it’s a great family afternoon.

We will be selling afternoon teas so come hungry!

Volunteer

In preparation for the day, you can also help the BHAS Allotment Society by:

  • planting seeds to sell at the plant sale, and
  • volunteering to help on the day.

If you are interested in lending a hand, please contact us!

Hope to see you there.